sunset to sunrise

Camping, friends, talented models and designers, beautiful landscapes, and a marathon sunset-to-sunrise photo shoot.  This was my life last week.

A group of very talented and tough people went up to Pisgah Forest Campground with me at sunset on Monday evening. We scouted the area and shot at an overlook near the camp ground. Unfortunately, we just missed the bulk of the actual sunset, but I did manage to snap this great photo of Jill Summers, tricked out as an awesome woodland elf:

I have recently discovered the magical time right after the popular golden hour called "blue hour." Up in the mountains of WNC, after the sun sets behind the mountains, there is still some good light that has this beautiful dusky hue to it.

What you can't see in these pictures is the bitterly cold wind that was battering us on top of the mountain, but these girls are such pros, you can't even tell!

Once we got back to the campground and warmed up a little around the fire, we started scouting the camp site for more photos. The site was surrounded by these awesome, old, twisty rhododendron groves. We set up an off-camera flash and umbrella and shot some cool, moody fantasy shots. Jill and Nichole donned my velvet cloaks and some of Amy Metsker's beautiful hand-made jewelry.

I also finally got to put someone in the Princess Dress that I found at Goodwill! Thanks, Nichole!

After some fantasy fun, it was time to rock out some KatDog Couture designs! Jill and Kati put on hood dresses and frolicked around in the grove until about 2:30 am when we finally all crashed.  We were also briefly joined by Ben and Ivy, who helped add a spooky vibe to some of Kati's hooded cloaks.

I crashed around 2:30 am in the back of my car.  It was cramped, and it was cold, and before I knew it, it was time to get up again.  After 2 hours of "sleep," we all roused ourselves at 5am to set up for some sunrise shots!

As the sun rose higher, we got to experiment with the angle of the light a little. I just love the red morning light filling up my lens with beautiful flares and giving Kati a warm glow!

A big shout-out to Max Ganly, who generously let me use his lighting equipment!

Though it was grueling and took me several days to recover, this was an unforgettable experience that yielded some awesome work. Thanks, Kati, for organizing this!